FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA

Crime-courts

Vacaville double-homicide trial set to begin

By From page A4 | May 07, 2014

Richard R. Calkins

Richard R. Calkins

FAIRFIELD — A jury trial is set to get underway Wednesday for a Vacaville man accused of fatally shooting two friends in the head and shooting another friend in the face while they partied at his apartment in 2010.

Richard R. Calkins, 22, is accused of killing Richard M. Perez, 20, and Cameron S. Silva, 21, before wounding Sarah Berkheimer on Nov. 16, 2010.

Berkheimer testified at a 2011 probable cause hearing that she and the three men spent the night eating psilocybin mushrooms, watching “Family Guy” on television and laughing until the shooting started at 2 a.m.

The trial, expected to take about a month, had been scheduled to start in January but was delayed after the doctor who performed the autopsies on the victims refused to testify. Dr. Susan Hogan told a prosecutor she would rather go to jail than take the witness stand.

Hogan is at the center of a controversy about questioned autopsy results and a secret investigation that led to her firing, which was labeled by sheriff’s officials as a retirement.

Prosecutors have not yet decided whether Hogan will be brought to the witness stand.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

This version corrects Richard R. Calkins’ age.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • The MisterMay 07, 2014 - 6:35 am

    Just another reminder of the corruption/failure of office found in the Sheriff/Coroner's office. The risk of bad guys not getting their due justice; the risk of innocent guys going to prison... seems like Solano County could do better than what we have now.

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  • Why delay?May 07, 2014 - 8:59 am

    If someone immediately dies of gun shot wounds, how does the opinion of the coroner have any value? The cause of death is very clear. I think the coroner's opinion only matters when the cause of death is questionable...

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  • I remember...RIP CameronMay 07, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    I agree....who cares what the autopsy says, all the evidence is right there! Did drugs, went crazy, killed people, go to jail, end of story.

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  • GemmaMay 07, 2014 - 8:14 pm

    The DA's office is a JOKE. They subpoenaed me twice as a witness in a case. The police told me they would take my son,give him to CPS, and put me in jail if I didn't cooperate,but someone who actually matters, the person who they contracted to do all our autopsies, gets a free pass in all of her cases? They also put an Order to show Cause on me when I didn't show up to court.Such a joke.

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